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Christian Living

Reliance

Two things will make you act drunk, blind, and stupid.

Love. And fear.

Sure, there are real things to fear in life.

Instinctive fear in response to danger is completely normal. You hear gunshots and you instantly ducks down and wonder, “Is someone shooting at me or is it New Years Eve and I didn’t know?” Or you are weeding the garden, hear some rustling, and look to the side to see a snake slithering towards you. Or you are crossing the street while looking at your phone and you hear screeching tires.

But that’s not the type of fear I’m talking about. I’m talking about fear that paralyzes us from making a choice or taking an action. You know you need to go back to school… but you just don’t because you’re afraid. You hate your job… but you don’t do anything about it because it’s too risky. You feel compelled to speak up, to tell the truth… but you stay silent because you don’t know what’ll happen if you do.

I believe fear drives us to deeper and deeper levels of insecurity and, for Christians, further and further away from Jesus.

The more I’m afraid the more I’m thinking about me: “What will people think of me if I ____? What are the consequences if _____ goes wrong? What will they say to others if _____? Is that too much risk? If I fail will people think I’m a failure?

While not necessarily bad questions to ponder none should paralyze. Consider, weigh, make a decision and move along.

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.

John 1:14, The Message

In Jesus-speak this is “the incarnation of Christ.” We believe God became a man to [among other things] bridge the gap between the Father’s divinity– His “not-humanness“– and to walk with us. The Son took all the risk in coming to earth, to become fully human. Here he experienced everything we experience, including fear. (Jesus got 1-on-1 time with Satan.)

Therefore for Christians, the people who identify with Jesus as their Savior and the measure of which is to live a Christ-like life… As we identify our daily life in light of Jesus’ incarnation we are drawn closer and closer to hugging our problems, pushing us past fear, realizing that our most dangerous life is one dictated by fear instead of faith.

fear-faith-reliance-teeter-totter

 

Think of fear as a fulcrum on the teeter-totter of faith and doubt. When we walk in self-reliance we are overcome by fear and all the insecurities and me-ness that comes with it. When we walk in faith-reliance we dwell in the knowledge of what’s worthy of our fear and what’s merely a human response we can push past.

Fear, by itself, isn’t bad. It’s not sinful to experience fear. But the consequences of living a life dictated by fear– or the avoidance of things which might be scary– can lead you to make lots of bad choices. (Indecision is a decision, after all!)

Two things will make you act drunk, blind, and stupid.

Love. And fear.

Choose love.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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